Maggie: In May, the town of Moore, Oklahoma was hit by a devastating EF5 tornado. That is the highest rating that a tornado can receive. But as Scott Evans shows us, in just three months, the entire community has rallied together to rebuild. And now, school is back in session.
Scott: It is a familiar sight this time of year. Yellow school busses packed with students headed back to class. But in Moore, Oklahoma, back to school means a new start.
Ian Tapscott: It’s kind of devastating how one big event can change so many people’s lives in such a short time.
Scott: That one big event was a devastating tornado that ripped through town in May. Twenty-five people died, and many of the homes and buildings in the town were destroyed, including schools.
The storm left behind over $2 billion worth of damage. The school year ended early and many students went off to live with relatives.
Moore, Oklahoma is located right in the middle of Tornado Alley, the region of the country with the most concentrated tornado activity. Now, according to the National Weather Service, 72 twisters were reported in Oklahoma during the 2013 tornado season, with 57 of those in May alone.
On Friday, students went back to school, but some had to report to different buildings while their schools are being rebuilt. The day was tough for many as they remembered the lives lost.
Kimberly Martinez: We had some of their siblings last year and in the past, so it was hard to accept that they won’t be with us. But they are just forever in our hearts. We will never forget them.
Scott: Preparation for this week has taken months of work from countless volunteers and businesses. Teachers and administration have worked together to make sure students come back to a positive environment and can feel safe.
Nikki McCurtain: It’s school, so we want them to be excited and to enjoy their day. So, we have lots of activities planned.
Scott: Students like Austin say they have seen people pull together in the community like never before through the worst of the tragedy.
Austin Bright: It’s just the Oklahoma way. Like we’ve been saying lately, ‘We’re Oklahoma strong.’
Scott: Doing their best to get back to normal.
Scott Evans, Channel One News.